Medical Software Ethics
Medical Software Ethics
Tom, the head of IT at XYZ Medical, finds himself faced with a dilemma on pancreatic cancer laser treatment software. The software has had impressive results so far, managing to help 95% of the people. Upon reviewing 2% of the cases that ended up in immediate death, he discovered a bug in the software that might be the reason for this. Tom is now caught between keeping the discovery to himself so that he doesn’t remain poor or reporting to the FDA so that the IPO can be halted.
The effectiveness and usability of a health IT tool often depend on how it . The important variables that are looked at include its ability to improve a patient’s health and reduce mortality rates of specific illnesses. Being in Tom’s shoes might bare heavily on anyone, considering the options he is presented with. If I were Tom, I would decide to stay silent and let the continue. This is because the software’s current state has achieved quite a success rate, especially considering that it is the first software of its kind. Rolling out the computerized laser treatment will ensure that the high mortality rate of 90% within six months is greatly reduced. The software will give 95% of the patients a chance at life, enabling them to live for at least four more years. This choice aligns with the ethical principle of beneficence, which gives precedence to doing good, providing benefits to most people, and contributing to their welfare (Varkey, 2021).
Informing the FDA about the glitch might not be a good idea since the approval process might take too long, thus putting more lives than is necessary at risk. The bug’s fixing might also take too long, several months at least, a time in which many more people can die. Once the software is rolled out, it will be easier to release updates. The fact that it will save more lives will outweigh any questions raised concerning the presence of a bug when the software was being released.
Varkey, B. (2021). Principles of clinical ethics and their application to practice.Medical Principles and Practice,30(1), 17-28. https://doi.org/10.1159/000509119
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